How Abacha played 419 on MKO

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The Author Jamiu Abiola tells the GDA more story of how his father fell for Abacha's dirty deal

Moshood finally returned to Nigeria in September of 1993. By then, he was convinced that he could only cause a revolution from inside Nigeria. His struggle must start and end there. He no longer cared about the consequences and often repeated that a thief, and not a victim, should be the one to be scared.



Going back to Nigeria was a tough decision for him. Many saw it as a careless one because they knew that he was going to claim his mandate and to them, no one can ever fight against government and win. But Moshood disagreed. He knew that the new government was vulnerable for a number of reasons.
MKO Abiola the Enigma
The government was bankrupt. It had inherited an empty treasury from the previous government. To make matters worse, the interim government had increased the price of petroleum products because it was desperate to raise funds. Public disaffection rose sharply and the new government’s unpopularity reached new heights.
General Sani Abacha ...Played 419 on MKO Abiola
Riots broke out. This was actually the best time for Moshood to declare himself the legitimate president of Nigeria, and he was advised to do so. But he chose not to. He wanted to avoid bloodshed so he felt that waiting for the outcome of the court ruling in a case on the legitimacy of the interim government was the best option. He would form his own government once the court hopefully ruled against the present one.
MKO Abiola...The Star Boy from Egba Land
“Immediately after he had settled down, General Abacha invited Moshood to a meeting. In the course of their conversation, he asked Moshood why he had not delivered the strategy he had requested from him. Moshood, who had given it to the designated person, told him that he had handed it over as they had agreed”

Moshood had never considered Shonekan as the head of that government. To him, and many other keen observers, the man was just a tool used by the former military leader to deceive the Yorubas, the people of Moshood’s tribe, and make them believe that political power had shifted to their region, as it would have if Moshood’s election had not been annulled. The real leader of that government, Moshood knew, was General Abacha, the secretary of defense. But sensing that the tide might turn in favor of Moshood, in the event of a court ruling against the government, General Abacha reached out to him to set a trap for him.
MKO & Kudirat Abiola; First Nigerian Couple to die for Democracy
At first, through emissaries, General Abacha assured Moshood of his sympathy. He made it clear that his hope was for both of them to work together. He even pleaded that Moshood should consider retaining him as the defense chief once he helped him to become president. Moshood did not want to have anything to do with him. He believed that Abacha was corrupt but he eventually agreed to team up with him. He did not have a choice because Abacha was in control of the army and the army would still be capable of standing in the way of his presidential ambition even if the court ruled against the interim government’s legitimacy.
General Abacha's 2nd in command, Genere Oladipupo Diya (His Hands were tight on MKO Abiola's Case)
As everyone had expected, on the tenth of November 1993 the courts ruled that the interim government was illegal. Abacha began talking to Moshood directly. He asked him for a written strategy on how the military could assist him to become president. Moshood saw his request as absurd because he knew that Abacha was aware that all the military had to do was to recognize him, Moshood, as the president. That was all.
Sani & Maryam Abacha in their younger years before power came calling
Despite the oddness of Abacha’s request, Moshood complied. He presented a written strategy to Abacha but the latter, instead of taking it from him, requested that Moshood hand it over to one of his right-hand men. Once again, Moshood complied.
A few days later, on the 17th of November 1993, General Abacha took over power from the interim government. There was no violence. No arrests were made. The head of the interim government resigned publicly. He was allowed to go home peacefully. General Abacha addressed the nation afterward and to everyone’s surprise he put an end to the entire political process. He ordered elected governors to hand over to senior military personnel and he banned all political parties and rallies.
Nigeria was back to full military rule.
Jamiu Abiola wants the World to read about the true story of his dad
Immediately after he had settled down, General Abacha invited Moshood to a meeting. In the course of their conversation, he asked Moshood why he had not delivered the strategy he had requested from him. Moshood, who had given it to the designated person, told him that he had handed it over as they had agreed. The general avoided looking him in the eyes and denied receiving it. Moshood, realizing that his host was taking him for a ride, asked him for permission to meet his supporters so that they could tell him what his next line of action should be. The general instantly granted his request.
The Book of MKO according to Jamiu Abiola
Moshood did not know that Abacha only heeded his request because he had already reached an understanding with some of his key supporters, including Kingibe, his vice presidential candidate, who was going to be a minister in the new military government. The meeting came to an abrupt end. Abacha escorted Moshood outside. Then all of a sudden journalists swarmed around both men, taking pictures that Abacha later used for a new set of lies.

Dignatories @ the Launching of 'The President who Never Ruled'
(Excerpts from the book, The President Who Never Ruled by Jamiu Abiola; get copies in any book shop across the world or write Jamiu Abiola through jamiulinguist@yahoo.com. Read How Babagana Kingibe, Politicians broke MKO’s heart in our next post on this blog)

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